With the company putting the number of paid Workplace users at 7 million, one analyst sees Facebook’s growing focus on integration as important for continued acceptance by the company.
Facebook announced a handful of updates to its social network Workplace this week, including new video features and improved integrations with third-party applications.
Among the features unveiled Tuesday are updates to a Live Q&A feature that was rolled out last year. A presenter can now click on a question and get details about the person who asked them, making it easier to make a comment more personal. By clicking on the question, the presenter can also place it in the middle of the screen for hosts and the audience. (Employees will soon also be able to record the pronunciation of their name, preventing incorrect statements during video Q & A’s.
Facebook also strengthened an integration with Cisco’s Webex video conferencing platform that was first announced in December, making it possible to broadcast live to Workplace’s Live video feature without switching apps.
Workplace already has existing integrations with Zoom and BlueJeans, and integration with Microsoft Teams remains up for discussion, says Ujjwal Singh, head of product at Facebook Workplace.
With the introduction of plugins, the company took a new step to connect Workplace to external tools, with a view to making it easier to share content through external tools such as Microsoft SharePoint. “This allows leaders to use Workplace to create content to connect with employees, but also to increase the surface area for that content,” Singh said.
Other updates to the platform include the ability to sync Workplace events with external calendar tools, including those in Microsoft Outlook and Google’s Gmail. And there’s an update to the Workplace content sharing platform in the Knowledge Library, which allows the app to retrieve resources from other places, such as intranets.
Angela Ashenden, a chief analyst at CCS Insight, said Facebook’s growing focus on integration – both in terms of popping up third-party tools and content in Workplace and pushing Workplace content elsewhere – serves to “highlight the need for these tools to play. nice with the existing investments of an organization to improve the employee experience.
“Employees have to deal with a multitude of tools to get their work done, and it’s important that the tools work well together so that the employee doesn’t have to be the human integration point that puts the finishing touches on it,” Ashenden said.
Facebook claims 7 million paid Workplace users
Facebook executives also gave an update on the number of paid Workplace users, saying that number has grown to 7 million, up 40% from 5 million in May 2020.
“We built Workplace as an internal version of Facebook to run our own business, and it was so helpful that we had it used by other organizations, including everyone from Spotify to Starbucks to the World Health Organization,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement on his Facebook page Tuesday.
The growth in the number of paid users is partly due to the pandemic-led increase in remote working, said Julien Codorniou, vice president of Workplace of Facebook, although new customers are also deploying Workplace as they look to reopen offices and try to connect remotely and on-site. Staff.
“Now that companies are embracing the hybrid way of working, they realize that having a solution for video conferencing or instant messaging is sometimes not enough,” Codorniou said. “They want something that allows them to connect everyone – people who work from home, in the factory or in the office – with real-time and asynchronous means of communication.”
Ashenden said Workplace’s growth over the past year is evidence of a “renewed focus on employee experience” at businesses during the pandemic, as companies try to connect staff and nurture the corporate culture.
“It’s something that remains crucial even when offices reopen, creating a consistent connection, whether you’re in the office or at home,” she said.